‘Not coming’: Lalu, Pawar turn down Jan 22 temple invite

“I will not go to the consecration ceremony of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,” Lalu said in Patna without spelling out any reason for the decision.
Lalu Prasad
Lalu Prasad

NEW DELHI: INDIA bloc’s key players Lalu Prasad and Sharad Pawar appear to have gone with the Congress line over the Ayodhya event due January 22.

“I will not go to the consecration ceremony of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,” Lalu said in Patna without spelling out any reason for the decision. It was on October 23, 1990, when BJP’s LK Advani, on the way to Ayodhya from Somnath aboard a ‘rath,’ was arrested in Bihar’s Samastipur on the orders of the then CM Lalu Prasad.

On the other hand, NCP leader Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday that he has written to Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, declining its invite. He cited “incomplete construction of Ram temple” as the reason for not being able to attend the event. Pawar in his letter also said that he would offer prayers to Lord Ram after the completion of the temple construction. He said the Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram is a symbol of faith and devotion.

“Ram bhakts will be attending the ceremony in large numbers through which the happiness will reach me. After January 22, the darshan of Ram Lalla will be easy. I am planning to visit Ayodhya and will also offer prayers to Ram Lalla. By that time, the temple construction will also be complete,” said the former Union agriculture minister.

Pawar in Baramati said the BJP has been targeting Congress for declining to attend the January 22 invitations. “The BJP is making it a political event. But BjP should not forget that the late Rajiv Gandhi played a pivotal role in opening the Ram temple to the public. He said Rajiv was the first person to open Ram temple gates.

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